Chrissy Teigen wants to start a dialogue among moms about postpartum depression and anxiety
We love Chrissy Teigen for approximately one million reasons, but mostly, because she keeps it real when it comes to motherhood. That includes being ultra open about her struggles with infertility, post-baby sex, and possibly most importantly, postpartum depression. Now, she’s part of an initiative to help moms dealing with post-birth mental health issues like depression and anxiety to know they’re not alone.
As part of her new partnership with Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Health Network (AHN), Teigen’s hoping to open a dialogue among moms about postpartum depression and anxiety. In a press release provided to Scary Mommy, AHN notes that more than 500,000 – or one in seven – new moms developed postpartum depression, yet only 15 percent of them received treatment, according to the American Psychological Association. Teigen took to Instagram to tell her fans about #MyWishForMoms, a new hashtag created to help moms talk about what they’re experiencing.
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It’s Maternal Mental Health Month and I was just on the @TODAYshow with @savannahguthrie and @jennabhager to launch an initiative that’s close to my heart. Join me and @AHNToday, and let’s help all the moms who may be going through postpartum depression or anxiety. Post a picture that captures what it felt like having a new baby, and tell them what you wish you knew when you were going through it. Use the hashtag #MyWishforMoms. Imagine if we can get just as many people talking about postpartum depression as women who experience it each year — that’s over 500,000 of us! #PostPartumDepression #PaidPartnership
“It’s Maternal Mental Health Month and I was just on the @TODAYshow with @savannahguthrieand @jennabhager to launch an initiative that’s close to my heart. Join me and @AHNToday, and let’s help all the moms who may be going through postpartum depression or anxiety. Post a picture that captures what it felt like having a new baby, and tell them what you wish you knew when you were going through it. Use the hashtag #MyWishforMoms. Imagine if we can get just as many people talking about postpartum depression as women who experience it each year — that’s over 500,000 of us!” she writes.
The hashtag is already gaining traction on Instagram with hundreds of moms bravely opening up about what they’re going through.
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At my 6-week check up with my first child, I was still in a daze. I felt different, but I attributed it all to being sleep deprived and caring for a new baby. We were still in a honeymoon period in a lot of ways. A couple of months later, the anxiety and rage increased. I felt so out of control. Anxious thoughts took over my days. It felt like a job just to get myself to breathe. I was lashing out at my husband and getting overly frustrated with my child. Often I would say “I don’t know who I am right now.” Sometimes it felt like an out-of-body experience and I was watching someone I didn’t know. I didn’t know where to turn. I thought that, since I had passed the 6-week mark and checked in with my provider, I shouldn’t be having these struggles. I thought there was something wrong with me because it emerged months later instead of in the first few days and weeks. I tried to push through it. I covered it up. I shut people out of my true experience and tried to mask it with pretty pictures and forced optimism. I secretly cringed with shame. May is Maternal Mental Health Month and this time- I’m here for it. Unashamed. I am joining @ahntoday @ChrissyTeigen to help launch a social cause initiative to reduce the stigma of postpartum depression and anxiety and to encourage an open dialogue around it to continue supporting moms who may be suffering – #MyWishForMoms. Maybe you’ve always been a “happy person” like me and the thought of a postpartum mood disorder such as postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety seem impossible. They can affect anyone and they are treatable, but it takes reducing the stigma and being brave enough to speak up for ourselves and one another. My wish for moms is for more comprehensive support in postpartum care. Moms deserve to be checked on more than once and deserve safe places to normalize the transition and difficulties and get the help they need. AHN Women developed MyWishforMoms.org – an educational resource for moms and families to learn about maternal mental health and how to get help should they or a loved one need it. You’re not alone. You deserve more comprehensive support. #partner #sponsored
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In response to the hateful messages I got about my belly photo, I’ve been empowered to share this message louder! Yes, I do I have a valley of lines mapped across my belly, mountains of stretched skin left over my mid section, lightning bolts on my sides and back, all signs that I carried life inside of me…. five times! I also have a cesarean scar reminding me that my belly was cut open twice! My body is amazing. My body is beautiful. My body is powerful. My body is strong. My body is capable. My body made me a mother. My body grew a human inside. Not everybody has that privilege. So while society wants to sit behind a screen and label us as flawed, I am here to remind myself and all of you that to our children we are perfect. They see behind the stretched out skin, marks, and lines. They see us for who we truly are. They know our hearts and love us unconditionally. And that is all that matters. 💗 #freeto #mombod #postpartumbody #realpostpartum #empoweringwomen #ellenratemybaby #mywishformoms #postpartum #this_is_postpartum #lifeafterbirthproject #lifeafterbirth
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Nobody tells you there will be days like these. . . This was me yesterday after struggling through a tough feed. Exhausted, in pain, feeling defeated. I’ve had many moments like this since my son arrived. My only concern is making sure his needs are met, yet I often feel that I’m falling short. Motherhood is an overwhelming combination of bliss and self-doubt. I try to remind myself that I can’t be perfect. I can’t be everything for everyone. I just have to do my best and take it one hour at a time. Thankfully, this little guy is worth every second of struggle. Mamas out there – tell me I’m not alone?? . . @claireholt YOU ARE NOT ALONE. #newmum #mywishformoms #newbaby #postnatal #postpartum #nobodytellsyou
And that openness is exactly what Teigen was hoping for.
“When I was approached with this opportunity – to help be the voice for women experiencing postpartum depression and anxiety – I thought, ‘this is perfect!’. I’m grateful to be able to use the platform that I’ve been given to reduce the stigma that many women feel when talking about these very real and treatable conditions,” she says. “I wish I had known that postpartum depression can happen to anyone because I didn’t think it could happen to me. Here I was, with my perfect little Luna and a supportive husband, yet I was truly struggling.”
As part of launching the new program, Teigen talked to other moms who experienced postpartum mental health changes. She sat down with women who had received treatment at the AHN Women Alexis Joy D’Achille Center for Perinatal Mental Health.
“We have created a novel therapeutic environment that brings available resources to women and their families in an effort to help get them well, bond and grow together. We are so pleased to work with Chrissy, and commend her for being open about her own experience in order to help other families,” said Sarah Homitsky, MD, a psychiatrist and Medical Director of Women’s Behavioral Health at AHN.
The center is truly something special, and according to AHN, “one of only a few in the U.S. offering a variety of mother-baby treatments for pregnancy-related depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder under one roof.” They care for moms’ mental and physical health by providing yoga, meditation, group therapy, and mother-child bonding, while also helping them navigate new parenthood.
“My wish for moms is that they know they aren’t alone, and they are supported by the more than 500,000 women who share their experience each year,” Chrissy said. “Imagine if we can get as many people talking about postpartum depression and anxiety as those experiencing it, and let them know help is available.”